OK, so the title is a lie. Due to lockdown in Sydney and the Blue Mountains, in this post I visit two pubs and a Cafe for takeaway.
I live at the base of the Blue Mountains and love to head up there on the weekends or a day I have free. If you love nature and want to get way from the coast, the Blue Mountains is the best escape from the city. And some of the ‘pub grub’ is pretty awesome. In this post I visit the Blue Mountains Hotel in Lawson, The Alexandria Hotel in Leura and Dans Coffee Haus in Blaxland.
Blue Mountains Hotel, Lawson.
Opened in 1900, it’s a gorgeous looking hotel right (although a little overdone with the modern signage) on the main drag, the Great Western Highway. It has a lovely old charm interior with dark woods, stain glass windows and a cosy fireplace. The friendly staff are ready for a chat and a it has a local community vibe which makes it popular for lunch.
My travel buddy and I are heading back from night in the mountains and each time I have passed this pub, I have wanted to go in. We finally decide to stop for lunch one day.
We shared the crumbed mushrooms for entree. I was amazed at their size when they came out. These were beautifully done and for me the highlight of the meal.
Prawns in Madras curry
This was one of the specials of the day – prawns in Madras curry – and it looked delightful. Plump juicy prawns and very tasty, I stole a prawn when Ciaran wasn’t looking….Yum!
Pumpkin & halloumi salad
I go for the vegan halloumi and pumpkin salad. Each of the cooked elements are done well and the balsamic dressing adds a nice tang. It is a little heavy on the peppery rocket leaves however.
The Alexandra Hotel, Leura.
Another beautifully presented hotel with stunning manicured gardens. Built in the 1880’s it became the first licenced premises in Leura in 1903. The interior is fine old world charm. There is a dinning room although you can eat in the main saloon or outside. As well as a restaurant menu, there is a wood fired pizza oven in the main lounge. This is a popular place for their food and for people to’ be seen’. Service is polite and friendly however we find it a little slow on the day we visited.
We have spent the morning browsing the shops of Leura. The old fashioned ‘candy’ store, the wood turning and antiques shop are just some of the stores we wander through. When it’s time for lunch we head back towards the station and on the other side is the stunning Alexandra Hotel.
We started with some bread, very fresh, still warm and the pesto oil added a slight twist with which to dunk the bread or bread sticks in.
Slow Cooked Cowra Pork Belly, butter winter baby vegetables, pumpkin, crackling.
This was the most beautifully presented dish. Although the pork was a little dry, the gelatinous quality of the rendered fat and the crispiness of the crackling made this dish a star. The baby winter vegetables were delightfully pretty.
Bilpin free range spatchcock, pencil leeks, duck fat potatoes, truffle jus.
While it’s a more rustic look compared with the prettiness of the pork, spatchcock is cooked well, in fact all elements are, and the duck fat potato’s are just divine.
Dan’s Coffee Haus, Blaxland.
So here is the non-pub meal. Located on the Great Western Highway, this is a local business who gives back and supports the local community. A drop-off point for non-perishables for those doing it tough during these COVID times and at Christmas, toys for the local underprivileged kids.
We’re heading back from dropping off some personal items to Ciarans mum who recently moved into a local nursing home. It’s lockdown due to COVID-19, but I come along, just for the drive and only leave the car to get us some lunch on the way back. When I see the sign for a Wagyu beef burger, I’m happy. I’m not a coffee drinker – so I can’t comment on the brews here – but reports say they are great and the cafe recently won a best cafe in the Blue Mountains award.
Wagyu beef burger and chips.
The menu is limited due to the lockdown and take-away only. The burger & chips is a little on higher side, priced at $19, but small businesses and their workers are doing it tough and I much prefer to support small local businesses than the Mc-Conglomerate fast food joint down the road. The service was super quick and very friendly. The burger was darn good. While the meat patty comes apart a little, it’s a sign there there is no unknown filler or binding ingredients – it’s an honest burger. The chips are tasty and I’m pleased there is no freakin’ chicken salt in sight!
No matter what your tastebuds like, there is something in and around the Blue Mountains you should enjoy. While us in the Greater Sydney Region are currently in lockdown, please don’t leave your home or local government area, but perhaps start planning a day trip or a weekend away to this wonderful area – something to look forward to.
All meals were paid for independently.